As anyone who follows this blog knows, I am always on the search for new BBQ joints both near and far. I just happened to be visiting Black Rock Mountain (about 2hrs north of the city) for a fall foliage tour…no comment…and was fortunate to get a tip from a follower on Twitter who suggested Tomlin’s BBQ at the Osage Market.
Tomlin’s is literally a shack in the parking lot of the farmer’s market and it’s only open Friday – Saturday, May – October, so check before you go, as that’s a long ass drive to find out it’s closed.
The crowd was a mix of old folks, farmers and bikers and one group of quite vocal, older ladies who were on their way to a blue grass festival; they just had to tell me (several times) that Tomlin’s was featured on the Regis & Kelly show…I was now skeptical. Much to my delight the BBQ was actually quite good; I sampled the ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, brisket and several sides. The Ribs were pretty solid, smoky and sweet, with a nice pink smoke ring; they definitely go heavy on the brown sugar in the rub so if you’re not a fan I would steer clear.
The brisket, like so many places in Georgia, was the low point; not very flavorful and a little tough so I didn’t think it warranted a picture. The Pulled pork sandwich on the other hand redeemed my choice to stop here; juicy, tender and huge. There must have been at least ½ lb of pork and the bun stood no chance at trying to contain it; add a little sauce to it and you have a full-fledged, tasty mess on your hands!
The sides were hit and miss; the peppery black eyed pea salad with a touch of vinegar and jalapeno was great, the cornbread salad was an abomination. Imagine chunks of dry cornbread mixed with tomatoes, onions, peppers and cheese mixed with a bland mayo-based dressing…
Tomlin’s is definitely too far of a drive just for the BBQ, but if you’re in North Georgia mountain country it’s a good place to stop. The Farmer’s market alone was amazing with their selection of fresh produce and variety of greens; I scored 3 pounds of kale and some mustard greens. Tomlin’s also sells a variety of sauces, with their mustard-based variety being my favorite. Remember if you go to check the date to ensure they’re open (they also take CCs), and be sure to bring a cooler so you can stock up on some farm fresh produce that will never see the shelf of your local Kroger!